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Fully vaccinated Southwest flight attendant, 36, dies from COVID-19 after trip to Hawaii


‘Fully vaccinated’ Southwest flight attendant, 36, dies from COVID-19 nearly two months after testing positive following trip to Hawaii

  • Maurice ‘Reggie’ Shepperson, 36, died from COVID-19 on Tuesday 
  • He had tested positive for the virus in June after a work trip to Hawaii  
  • The fully vaccinated flight attendant was hospitalized in Las Vegas on July 7  
  • He was put on a ventilator and died in the hospital weeks later, his mother said


A fully vaccinated Southwest Airlines flight attendant has died from COVID-19 nearly two months after he tested positive following a work trip to Hawaii.  

Maurice ‘Reggie’ Shepperson, 36, who was based in Las Vegas, died at Henderson Hospital on Tuesday after spending weeks on a ventilator.  

He had checked into the hospital on July 7, weeks after testing positive following his trip to Hawaii in early June.  

Shepperson’s mother said her son had taken every precaution against the virus, including getting fully vaccinated, wearing a mask, washing his hands frequently and sanitizing surfaces.  

He is among a very small fraction of Americans who have died after suffering ‘breakthrough’ coronavirus infections after vaccination.  

Fully vaccinated Southwest Airlines flight attendant Maurice ‘Reggie’ Shepperson, 36, (pictured) died from COVID-19 on Tuesday at a hospital in Las Vegas – nearly two months after he tested positive following a work trip to Hawaii

Shepperson had checked into the hospital on July 7, weeks after testing positive following his trip to Hawaii in early June

Shepperson had checked into the hospital on July 7, weeks after testing positive following his trip to Hawaii in early June

Shepperson had been a flight attendant since 2007 and has worked for Southwest for nine years. 

Dubbed ‘high flyer’ by his co-workers, Shepperson was known to pick up more work trips than any other flight attendant, both for the money and the ability to travel to new places. 

A flight attendant from his training class Kiki Lee told USA Today: ‘He was hitting the skies right way, using his benefits. He loved working, and he loved the perks.’ 

One of Shepperson’s first trips was to China, shortly after graduating from flight school.   

The flight attendant, who was fully vaccinated, came down with the virus after returning home and drove himself to Henderson Hospital in Las Vegas on July 7

The flight attendant, who was fully vaccinated, came down with the virus after returning home and drove himself to Henderson Hospital in Las Vegas on July 7

He took his mother Dawn on one of his last work trips to Hawaii before contracting the virus.

Both were repeatedly tested before leaving for the sunny island. 

He wrote in a Facebook post from the trip: ‘Took mommy on my work trip to Hawaii I’ll be back to get her tomorrow lol love this woman with all my heart.’ 

Her son fell ill after returning home and immediately began to quarantine. 

He would later test positive for COVID-19. Her mother did not contract the virus. 

His co-workers called Shepperson a 'high flyer' and he was known for taking advantage of his perks and went on many works trips, including the Hawaii trip he took his mother (pictured) on

His co-workers called Shepperson a ‘high flyer’ and he was known for taking advantage of his perks and went on many works trips, including the Hawaii trip he took his mother (pictured) on

Dawn, who left food on her son’s doorstep, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that her son was in a lot of pain and couldn’t get up. 

On July 7, Shepperson drove himself to the emergency room with breathing problems. 

He would spend the following weeks in the hospital on a ventilator before passing away from the virus. 

Southwest spokesman Brandy King confirmed Shepperon’s death, but the company declined to say anything further in respect to the family.

Dawn said Southwest Airlines reached out to her after the death of her son, as well as to his best friend and fellow flight attendant Marcia Hildreth to fly her to Vegas from a work trip.

Hildreth has also started a GoFundMe page to help cover the cost of funeral expenses. It has currently raised $9,386 so far.  

Clark County currently has over 11,000 COVID-19 cases and over 300,000 cases in the state. 

Although COVID-19 vaccines do not offer 100 percent protection from the virus, they are still highly effective. There are breakout cases with the Delta variant, however, the fully vaccinated are less likely to get severely ill or die from the virus, according to the CDC. 

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